Total Recall review

Total Recall is total crap.  Save yourself the money and go re-watch the Paul Verhoeven one.  I’ve read the short story, I’ve seen the original, and watching this only made me appreciate them both that much more.  The film also reminded me a lot of a film called Equilibrium (which I like) and was not surprised to see the writer/director of that movie was one of the writers of this remake.  The film starts with Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) unhappy at his job where he makes robot police officers all day long.  He longs for some excitement in his life and when he hears of a company that will implant any exciting memory into your brain he decides to give it a try.  He goes to the company telling them he wants to become a spy for the resistance and then suddenly everyone’s after him, including his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale).  After some running, some jumping, and a few explosions later, Douglas meets up with Melina (Jessica Biel), his old squeeze.  Together they run and jump some more, all while Lori and her robot army are after them.

I like Colin Farrell in some films, but he is the epitome of a generic action hero in this movie and he should’ve known that this was a bad idea from the start.  Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale both play the part of attractive female leads, which I’m sure is all that was asked of them.  I’ve been a fan of Bryan Cranston ever since seeing him on Seinfeld and I’m very happy his career has taken off but it’s still upsetting to see an actor I respect in this movie.  The same can be said for Bill Nighy, I’m a fan and he deserves better.  The point of this is that no actor comes out looking good.  This movie was bad even for Len Wiseman, who seems to be the new go-to-guy for turning R-rated action movies into PG-13 kid-friendly films after previously ruining the Die Hard franchise five years ago.

Okay, so the original Total Recall was nothing brilliant, but it was a lot of fun and had everything that made Arnie movies great; lots of action, lots of blood, and hilarious one-liners like these.  The remake has none of the humor, none of the blood, but it does have some decent action sequences.  Unfortunately for me, I really don’t care how many special effects a movie has if there’s no soul, but if that’s all you’re after then you will probably enjoy this.

Total Recall opens nationwide Friday.

Official site.

Author: Mark Crowell

Mark is a reviewer and intern for Cinedelphia and is a film student currently studying film and video in the directing program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. He loves watching/writing/talking about film. Follow him on twitter:


  1. Very well said, I can’t remember the last time I watched a film with as many mindless chase scenes as this. It was mind numbingly boring, because while the film was coherent and got you from A to B successfully it did not care in the slightest about making it a fun ride and instead just went through the motions of what would be expected of it. Colin Ferrel has enough handsome for ten men but enough screen presence for a fraction of one. Ferrel might be a decent actor but he is no movie star, Schwarzenegger could elevate the film around him because he himself was a spectacle to behold, but Ferrel is just as bland as the script he was dealt. Also, one final grievance, why would you bother hiring Bill Nighy if you don’t even let him use that wonderful British voice!? To reiterate your wonderful pun, Total Recall is total crap. If you want to watch something that is so stupid and bland that it’s actually boring go watch Battleship, at least that had some sparkling water in it.

  2. First bare breasts I can remember in a PG-13 since Titanic. Total Recall was aggressively bad and you’ve encapsulated its shortcomings very well! Wiseman should plead to return to the art department (for Beckinsale’s sake I hope he isn’t this bland in their domestic relationship) and Colin Farrell should learn some things about screen presence from Arnie…

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